This was one of those therapy sessions where I feel mad at my shrink because STOP TAKING OTHER PEOPLES SIDES. WHAT THE FUCK?! She really likes to explain to me in great detail why other people are justified in doing what they are doing. I have started telling her, “You know… I already understand their point of view and don’t need to pay you to explain it to me. I don’t like their point of view and I’m bitching about it. I get that they have validity. What.Fucking.Ever.”
She reacts as if she doesn’t know what to do with me. Totally fair.
This time it was explaining why one of my friends did what they did. I get it already. I get that this person was doing what felt comfortable to them. I get that they weren’t trying to be rude. I get it.
I still feel like it was fucking rude and I’m annoyed. I don’t care that they didn’t intend to be rude. It felt rude to me and I’m having feelings and I want to process my feelings without being told how I shouldn’t have these feelings because reasons.
What.Fucking.Ever. Are you my shrink or are you on their payroll?
I get really mad when she says I shouldn’t feel a way because reasons. Uhm, feelings don’t work that way.
Yes, I get that you want me to have context and sympathy and empathy and all that… I have that. Sometimes I get to care about my feelings and how I’m treated. I don’t have to only care about other peoples feelings. This is not that kind of game.
I’m not saying I had the right to be a nasty bitch to my friend when I was annoyed about an interaction. That would be over the line. I completely agree. But I get to have my damn feelings. Don’t tell me not to feel a way.
Fastest fucking way to piss me off. I’m trying to train her. “I hear that you are very upset about this and you don’t want to hear the other point of view defended right now.”
Yup, that’s all I want you to say when I’m in the midst of my feels.
Some other day when I’m not ranting and raving about how pissed off I am is a great time to bring up, “Remember that other day when you were really mad? Can we talk about that now?”
Then I can listen. Then I can respect their point of view. When I am in the midst of my feels fuck right off with telling me I have to care more about them than me. Especially when I didn’t do anything with my mean feels besides get quiet.
Even ranting about people on my blog is pissier than what I did to this friend. In person all I did was get quiet. Ok, my tone of voice probably got snippier but I wasn’t mean. I worked really fucking hard on that. I didn’t like what was happening and I got through it and out of the situation. I was nice to my friend. We did exchange messages after this issue expressing our continued affection and desire for a relationship.
I’m still mad my friend did a thing. I’m FUCKING ALLOWED TO FEEL THAT WAY.
I don’t hate my friend. I don’t want to stop being friends with this person. I feel this person has a lot to offer the world as a human being and me in particular as my friend. Specifically what I value about this relationship is the many little bits of “insider” information they drop about their culture that I would otherwise be completely shut out of. Thank you for telling me about you, your family, and your culture. That is a real gift.
I’m still mad about a thing. I won’t be mad forever. It’s not a big thing. I wasn’t raped. I wasn’t hit. I wasn’t called a name. I wasn’t told anything horrible.
I just didn’t like something. It was a small thing. I’ll get over it.
Aren’t I allowed to dislike a thing?
I didn’t yell at my friend. I didn’t shun my friend. I didn’t name my friend online as a BAD PERSON. I just had feelings. Why is that discouraged?
I think she (my shrink) was objecting to my language around my feelings more than me having feelings but I’M NOT READY TO GIVE HER THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT YET SO DON’T TELL ME I SHOULD, OK?!
She said that she didn’t think what my friend did was a boundary violation but rather just an assertion of that friend’s boundaries. (Gender neutral language is a fucker.)
I would agree if I hadn’t already told this person that I don’t like X about a thousand times over a decade.
Friend could have waited one more day and done Thing without me and it would have been all good. So I had feels about the fact that my friend couldn’t wait one fucking day and had to do it in front of me even though I’ve said SO MANY TIMES that I’m not interested in being around Thing.
It’s not like I travel across the country to interrupt my friend’s private life very often. Haven’t seen friend in years. Couldn’t wait ONE FUCKING DAY.
Ok, fine. Maybe it isn’t a boundary violation. But FUCK YOU ANYWAY. I’m still annoyed. It was still a Thing I’ve repeatedly said annoys me.
This is why I continue to pay shrinks. I can hate them with impunity then get over it and continue to benefit from their redirection. It’s ok to have highly mixed feelings about your therapist. It is one of the known things about long-term therapeutic relationships. If you don’t have the full range of feelings with your therapist you probably aren’t getting everything out of therapy you could be getting. I need to learn how to deal with these GO FUCK YOURSELF feelings in a way that is more constructive and useful. My shrink pissing me the fuck off gives me a very safe space to work through boundary setting and arguing in a way that is me-centered and safe without being a threat to a core relationship.
Even though I have many mixed feelings about white men, and especially white geeks… I can’t use Noah as too much of a proxy there. That is toxic to our relationship. I can safely use my therapist as a proxy for people to be mad at. As long as I also get over it and learn how to do the later steps because that is why I pay her to be in my life.
People use therapy differently. For me, therapy is largely about finding surrogate parents who will help guide me towards the me I want to be instead of the me that other people wish I would be so I would be more convenient.
I will probably never be convenient. I’m just not cut out for that.
That’s ok though. Life isn’t about convenience. Pretty much my whole life is set up around “inconvenient but important”.
I will not be mad at my friend for years about Thing. But I will ensure that next time we hang out together Thing just isn’t an option on the table because it bugs me. That’s not awful. It’s not mean. My friend can go do Thing without me all the other days of their life.
My shrink asked me why I like assholes as friends. I said, “Because I’m an asshole.” She laughed and laughed and laughed.
She asked me what being an asshole means to me. I said that assholes are people who are completely and totally capable of being selfish and self-centered when they feel the need. I might hurt people in my selfishness. Yup. That’ll happen. I’m going to prioritize me anyway because I can’t spend my whole life worrying about everyone but me. I’ll die. So I’m an asshole sometimes.
I understand why so many of the men in my life are completely self-absorbed. They were raised to be. I understand why so many of the women in my life struggle to center themselves. They were raised to think they weren’t important.
I think being an asshole is important sometimes. Being completely sure that your needs come first is an asshole move. It is also a survival move. I think that it is impossible to survive a whole series of awful shit without ever being an asshole. I think it is mandatory to be an asshole sometimes if you want to survive hard stuff.
I know people who have managed to have lives that look like they are wrapped in cotton balls. Those people don’t really strike me as assholes. They center other people in a way I just… won’t. Not ever again.
I center my children more than anyone else and even they are sometimes told to get away from me because I need to focus on me right now.
It is hard on them and I don’t feel good about myself when I do it. But it is a fact. Sometimes I have to focus on me or we won’t get where we are going. It is just fucking required. You can’t be more important 24/7 or I can never leave my house because I can’t risk having a need.
I understand on a deep level that my friends share with me what they have to spare. I approve. I don’t think they should give to me until it hurts them.
Sometimes I am still going to be annoyed by their behavior and I need that to be ok. I can’t be abusive to my friends because I feel annoyed by their behavior–that’s not ok. But I can have feelings. Don’t tell me not to.
It’s ok to ask, “Well what did you do with those feelings? Do you feel you were just?” That’s always fair. I fuck up. I need to be called on my behavior when I fuck up. Sometimes my behavior is not just. When that happens I need to make amends and try to do better in the future. I don’t get to treat people badly because I’m having a feels.
But don’t tell me not to have my feels. Or I may direct allllllllllllllllll of them towards you. You won’t like that. My feels are BIG.